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The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Releases Statement of ACTA Negotiating Partners on Recent ACTA Negotiations

Washington, D.C. – Today the Office of the United States Trade Representative released a statement by the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiating partners regarding the recent round of ACTA negotiations in Lucerne, Switzerland:

The 9th round of negotiations on the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was held in Lucerne, Switzerland from 28 June to 1 July 2010, hosted by Switzerland. Participants in the negotiations included Australia, Canada, the European Union, represented by the European Commission, the EU Presidency (Spain, then Belgium on July 1) and EU Member States, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States of America.

On the first day of the negotiations, in the interest of transparency, the Swiss Government hosted meetings at which ACTA negotiators met with representatives of civil society who have expressed an interest in ACTA to exchange views.

Based on the text released after the Wellington Round, Participants continued constructive work and made progress in building consensus in a number of areas including Initial Provisions, General Obligations, Civil Enforcement, Border Measures, Criminal Enforcement, Enforcement Measures in the Digital Environment, International Cooperation and Institutional Arrangements. Discussions on the scope of intellectual property rights covered in ACTA provided an improved understanding of the respective views on that issue.

Participants stressed the importance of ACTA as an agreement that will establish an international framework for their efforts to more effectively combat the proliferation of counterfeiting and piracy, which undermines legitimate trade and the sustainable development of the world economy.

While ACTA aims at establishing effective enforcement standards for existing intellectual property rights, it is not intended to include new intellectual property rights or to enlarge or diminish existing intellectual property rights.

ACTA will not interfere with a signatory’s ability to respect fundamental rights and liberties. ACTA will be consistent with the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) and the Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health. Participants reiterated that ACTA will not hinder the cross-border transit of legitimate generic medicines, and reaffirmed that patents will not be covered in the Section on Border Measures. ACTA will not oblige border authorities to search travellers’ baggage or their personal electronic devices for infringing materials.

Participants in the meeting agreed that the next meeting would be hosted by the United States of America. Participants also reaffirmed their commitment to continue their work with the aim of concluding ACTA as soon as possible in 2010.